Wednesday, September 19, 2012

El Monte Fires 14 Lifeguards for Gangnam Parody Video

Talk about you buzz kill and not understanding the long view. A group of El Monte Lifeguards did a parody video of a popular song. They got fired. This video is the reason why they are unemployed:

Here is the background story from their Facebook page:
All footage was recorded off the clock during breaks and free time. The city manager OFFICIALLY fired us for using the facility for private use and wearing uniforms in public while off-duty. Afterwards we were UNOFFICIALLY told that our music video was both "disgusting" and an "embarrassment to the city of El Monte."
Now, granted. your local city government made up of a percentage of crusted up fuddy duddies are not going to like scenes that involve pelvic thrusting. In city swimsuits. On city property.

I think the dude in the elevator must have had someone in HR fanning themselves in horror or something.

The city could have seen it as a group of folks promoting the city of El Monte. Or that their employees had organized and produced a video that the public enjoyed and other folks in El Monte might have wanted to watch too. A citizen experience. I don't know if the city knows this but some people like looking at lifeguards in red swim suites.

Why there was even a television show about just that same thing.

Look, I understand the city has an issue with it. There are city lawyers that could have said something to help put the 14 on the road to other employment options.

But basically the lifeguards were just dancing and having fun. It was not "obscene." It was a group of folks sharing in the Gagnam Style. Cite them. Warn them not to do it again but I do think the firing was a bit extreme.

The problem, the lifeguards were under "At Will" employment. That means that the city can fire you for any reason and not have to think twice about it.

So if you create a parody video on your companies equipment, clothing or property you might want to think twice about. If you are in the city of El Monte, CA where folks go some place else to have fun then be on the look out for buzz kill force.

The Takeway:

Be very aware of where you are recording your video. Know your rights and responsibilities. And if on the job, clearly understand the potential risks.

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